Historic Property Owners

Historic Property Owners

While insuring historic properties may draw a sharp intake of breath from non-specialist providers, there’s a perfectly simple solution to protecting special homes.

If you’ve insured your historic home under a standard direct or internet policy and you need to claim, you could be in for a nasty shock. But putting this right needn’t break the bank – specialist insurers provide excellent rates for historic buildings, in recognition of the care taken by most owners. La Playa works with a panel of specialist underwriters at world class carriers, and our team have the expertise to guide you through the issues of finding suitable historic home insurance:

  • Valuation: you buy a home for $1m – but how much should you insure it for? Standard carriers leave that calculation to you; underestimate and they penalize you by reducing your settlement. Proper valuation is essential – specialist surveyors, architects and carriers can provide advice, taking into account reinstatement costs.
  • Insuring for reinstatement costs: the reinstatement value can be very different from market value – it’s important to determine how much it would cost to rebuild your home using specialist materials and craftsmen to repair/restore any unusual cornicing, historic fireplaces, stonework and other architectural features.
  • Specialist carriers: many insurance companies and surveyors determine the rebuilding cost of a structure by quickly noting the exterior construction. This is not acceptable for a period building. From the outside, it may appear as if it's a certain age, but the inner structure may date back earlier. And special features are frequently hidden inside, often requiring the skills of specialist craftsmen to restore after damage.
  • Repairs and renovation: a non-specialist repair job could affect your home’s market value. Your insurance policy should allow for using craftsmen and authentic materials, and the extra time needed. If you’re undertaking major works to the property, we can help you with insurance for the works, including protection for the existing structure and liability insurance.
  • Extension and alteration: contract conditions may place the onus on you as the employer to insure the works. Make sure your carrier gets a schedule of the works and details of the construction company's liability insurance.
  • Risk Management: good risk management is vital. Historic buildings are particularly susceptible to fire and theft, so have electrical inspections every 5 years and take specialist advice on security installations that won’t compromise the historic integrity of the property. Forced entry often leads to arson.
  • Contents: if your home is furnished with art and antiques, these need special attention from your carrier – you may get a better rate too! The good news is that insurance rates for art and antiques are usually lower than for general contents – because of the care that owners take.
  • Documentation: keep valuations, historical records, insurance and repair paperwork in order, to help with claim resolutions and the repair process.

It’s just not worth taking short cuts with insuring a historic property: it’s a false economy. The issues are more complicated than for modern homes, but a good specialist broker can make the process easy, and the rates are in fact very reasonable.

Download: La Playa Private Client Brochure PDF Document

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About La Playa Private Client

Specialist & Independent

Specialist & Independent

La Playa Private Client creates a safe space for you to live life to the full, enjoying your family, friends, and assets wherever you are in the world - without worry or hassle.

We can make sense of all your insurance needs - property, yachts and superyachts, high-performance and classic cars, private jets, art, wine and jewelry collections – and your liabilities too. We can pull multiple assets together on a single “portfolio” policy – or if you prefer, take care of each item separately. 

Amid the impersonal and automated world of large insurance corporations, La Playa provides a refreshingly boutique-style service, with individual advice, and cover based on in-depth understanding of your specific situation. After a detailed and confidential review of your needs and priorities, we’ll structure your insurance arrangements so you know you and your family are protected, come what may.  

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…from an expert who understands you

  • Specialist, global policies for affluent lifestyles
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  • Worldwide capability: offices in New York & London
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